Saint John the Evangelist Seminary

A Commitment of the Evangelical Catholic Church for Academic Formation

Est. 2006

















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Saint John the Evangelist Seminary

HSP 503:  Contemporary Pastoral Issues  (2 Credit Hours)
Course Syllabus

Bishop James Wilkowski   



This is a core leadership course designed for those who intend to be future leaders in ministry. This course will move from definitions to the core values of a leader; how to take a ministry through a vision process; engage in strategic planning, decision-making, and implementation; build great teams; work through conflict and change; delegate tasks; and effectively instructor the next generation of leaders. Models from the corporate, political, and military worlds will be compared and contrasted with biblical definitions and illustrations of leadership.



•  Communicate the essential nature of a Catholic priest.

•  Assess the core values of a leader and evaluate yourself in relation to these values.

•  Initiate a vision and strategy process for your ministry.

•  Grasp the essentials of sound decision-making and team building.

•  Understand how to deal with obstacles and conflicts associated with leadership.

•  Communicate the basic elements of a biblical theology of leadership.

•  Evaluate the leadership style, skills and potential of yourself and others.

•  Provide significant leadership to the church.

•  Mentor leadership skills to others within the church.

Required Texts:


James Kouzes, Barry Posner,   The Leadership Challenge,   Jossey-Bass; 5th Edition  ( 2012. )  ISBN 13:978-0470651724


Michael Useem,  The Leadership Moment,   Three Rivers Press;  1st Edition (1999)

ISBN  13: 978-0812932300

Patrick Lencioni,  Five Dysfunctions of a Team, Jossey-Bass; 1st Edition (2002)  ISBN 13: 978-0787960759

Written Assignments:

Creation of a Case Study:  Describe a situation which requires biblical and theological reflection and the decision-making skills of a pastor and leader.  This may be an actual or hypothetical situation; if it is based on a real event, change names and details to protect privacy. You might include such details as: What type of group is involved?  What is the size of the group? What is the nature of the conflict or challenge? What is the likely result if the situation doesn’t change?  The paper is to be 6 to 8 pages double-spaced.

Leader Analysis Paper: Select one leader or one who has written on the subject of leadership (to be approved by your course instructor). Do a written analysis of his/her approach and contribution to leadership.  Integrate class lectures into your discussion. The paper is to be 6 to 8 pages (double-spaced):  one page on background, four-five pages on leadership philosophy, one page critique and summary of principles/lessons applicable to ministry leadership. 

"Leadership Principles" Paper: Write a paper summarizing what you consider to be the most important principles for leading the church, and why you believe these to be essential. These principles can be gleaned from your readings, the Bible, class notes, your own experience, etc.  This paper should be written as a resource for your future use, suitable as a starting point for training others how to lead.  Include footnote and bibliographic information. Approximately 4-5 pages, double-spaced. 



1.    Introduction to the Course





2.    The Definition of Leadership

3.    The Need for Leadership


Read: Useem, Introduction and chapter 1.

Read: Kouzes/Posner, Preface through chapter 2.



4.    Acquiring Leadership


Read: Useem, chapters 2 and 3


5.    The Context of Leadership

6.    Core Values and Leadership

Read: Kouzes/Posner, chapters 3-4, 9-10

Read: Useem, chapters 4-5


7.    Skills and Leadership

Read: Lencioni, pages 1-80


8.    Leadership and Teambuilding

9.    Mission and Leadership

Read: Lencioni, pages 81-155

Read: Kouzes/Posner, chapters 5-6

Complete Leadership Case Study: Design due


10.  Vision and Leadership

Read: Useem, chapters 6-7



(If you want to watch some examples of leadership analyses, you can watch the class presentations on lesson 17 on the disk)

Leadership Analysis Paper due


11.  Strategies and Leadership

12.  Objectives and Leadership

Read: Kouzes/Posner, chapters 7-8

Read: Useem, chapter 8 through Conclusion


13.  Decision Making and Leadership

Read: Kouzes/Posner, chapters 11-12



14.  Change and Leadership

15.  Leadership and Challenges

Read: Kouzes/Posner, chapter 13



16.  Transition and Leadership

Complete Leadership Case Study: Evaluations due


17.  Student Presentations




Final Exam due

Leadership Principles Paper due


















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